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Posts from February 12, 2017 - February 18, 2017

Another Day, Another Conferencing App

It seems like just about every day someone is releasing a new conferencing app.

Today it's Phrase, who have come out with a browser based free (for now) conferencing service. It works fairly easily and reminds me a lot of GetARoom from client Temasys, pioneers in the Embedded Real Time Communications space who produced the proof of concept over two years ago using WebRTC entirely.

Phrase_io_–_Free_video_conferencing_and_screen_sharing

To use Phrase you simply do this...

  1. Go to Phrase's web site.
  2. Create a name for your call.
  3. Click start a conference
  4. Share the link
  5. Have up to 100 people on the voice or video call
  6. Use the side features pull out to chat or raise your hand.
  7. Use the top toggles to mute or toggle on the video camera
  8. Monitor performance right on screen in the lower right hand corner.

You can do other things too with Phrase. You can go full screen and of course even, hang up, all from within the browser..

Phrase is another example of Embedded Real Time Communications, built upon WebRTC. As WebRTC proliferates, we can expect to see more services like this come along. Give it a spin and let me know what you think...

 


The Comunicano for Friday February 17 2017

 
Last night I dined out using Feastly for the first time. It was the way to book seats at a “pop up” dinners across the USA. The dinner was the debut of former Herringbone LA chef Jason Witzl, who is in the process of opening up his own Cal-Ital place, Ellie’s, in DTLA. Not only was Feastly a cool app/service experience end to end, but the communal dining experience made it easy to make new friends, hang with old friends, eat very well and of course BYOB. 

Alexa-can you come with me? So many times i wanted to take Alexa with me, so while Telzio had voice enabled access to my Amazon Echo first via their mobile app, almost a full year or so ago, there wasn’t a lot of use. Well the game just changed as Rain Labs has launched Reverb with apps for the Mac, iOS and Android. It’s all made possible by Amazon Voice Service.  As I wrote on the Xceptional Blog a few days ago, Amazon keeps looking more and more like a telco/information services competitor to AT&T, Verizon, H-P and more….
So with that, let’s dive into the news in today’s extended edition of Comunicano.

Facebook just changed its mission, because the old one was broken
Here are the details of Uber's disastrous public Q&A session with drivers on Facebook
App Watch
Messaging Tech Expert: The Year Messaging (Actually) Matches its Hype
White House Staff Are Using A "Secure" App That’s Really Not So Secure
23 Must-Have Alexa Skills for Your Small Business
Money Watch
Uber Gives Restless Employees a Way to Cash Out
Airbnb buys Montreal-based Luxury Retreats to bolster high-end vacation offerings
Verizon acquires Portland startup Skyward, a maker of drone management software
Daimler’s MyTaxi acquires Greek rival Taxibeat for undisclosed amount
Soundtrack Your Brand has raised $22 million for B2B music streaming
Apple Watch
Apple Vowed to Revolutionize Television. An Inside Look at Why It Hasn’t - Bloomberg
Apple may cut the (charging) cord completely with the iPhone 8
Cool Things
The Piaggio Gita Is a Futuristic Helper Bot From the Makers of the Vespa
A breakthrough in Alphabet’s balloon-based internet project means it might actually work
Private Astronaut Taxis by SpaceX, Boeing May Not Be Ready by 2019
Where is Zealandia? Geologists say they have discovered eighth continent
Odds & Ends
AT&T’s new, new unlimited data plan eliminates an annoying requirement
Jack Dorsey: Twitter Lacked 'Focus And Discipline' For Growth

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The Comunicano for Wednesday February 15 2017

 
 
FEBRUARY 15 - ISSUE #23
Andy Abramson
HUMPDAY…….and there’s tons of NEW and that makes NEWSsurrounding new services releases that are making the rounds today from the likes of Facebook, Signal, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. They all have decided to unleash new “stuff” that changes the way we consume, communicate, create and deliver information today, and after a wave of non-news of late, it’s nice to see NEW back in the NEWS..

Let’s start with Facebook,
which is going to become a bit more “annoying” as they start with sound on within their video news content. Their claim is more people prefer that, but thankfully there are ways to turn the audio offMicrosoft makes its biggest move to take on Gmail with a more complete Outlook Premium offer…In some cases I’ve included the official announcement as well as a news item about what’s new, in an effort to provide deeper transparency and insight. 
After all that, there’s a few perspectives on the new data plan wars happening in the USA that’s waging between the mobile operators that will help you decide what plan and what changes are right for YOU….That and more are all in today’s COMUNICANO.

New Release Watch
New Ways to Watch Facebook Video from the Facebook Newsroom
Facebook is launching an app for Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV
Outlook.com Premium Comes Out of Preview
Introducing Cloud Spanner: a global database service for mission-critical applications
Signal Adds Video Calls, Better Quality---And a New Privacy Tradeoff
Video calls for Signal now in public beta
Yahoo Mail now syncs photos across devices and IDs who's calling on the phone
Yahoo Mail Update: Never Guess Who’s Calling or...
Dataplan Watch
Expect T-Mobile to Continue Inflicting Pain on Verizon and AT&T
Experts warn businesses not to over-buy on unlimited data plans
Your complete guide to choosing an unlimited data plan
Unlimited plans comparison: Verizon vs. AT&T vs. Sprint vs. T-Mobile
Odds & Ends
This sick Valentine's day ad shows people getting naughty with their phones
How To Create A Killer Logo-Two Experts Weigh In

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Amazon Chimes Into Conference Calling

In a world full of conference and video conferencing apps largely dominated by Zoom, Go To Meeting, WebEx and UberConference, Amazon has entered the fray with Chime, an AWS powered service. While you can page through the features and pricing that ranges from free to $15.00 a month for the most part Amazon has copied all the features you would expect from the leaders, with the underlying promise that the reliability will be rock solid as it runs entirely on AWS.

For now the service has many of the features of the competition, including room device access much like Zoom and BlueJeans feels much like a "Me Too, Me Also" service, with the only differentiators being a feature that lets anyone mute anyone on a call, and the Amazon name. Now, if they find a way to connect to Fire devices, blend in a really nice PTZ camera and connect to the Amazon Echo, that would be something that makes the service "me different.

PC Magazine and others contend this is also a play against Skype For Business calling chime a "powerful swing." I'm not so sure as currently there's no PSTN in or out like Skype, but there is the ability to call into a conference call.  

The WSJ reminded me that Chime is largely "built on technology Amazon acquired when it bought the San Francisco startup Biba Systems Inc."

The bigger question to me surrounds Amazon going into competition against companies that run their apps business on AWS, as this the second move by Amazon to actually become an apps supplying company. Previously they rolled out an email, contacts and calendar platform called WorkMail that has not exactly set the world on Fire (um no pun intended) and are likely working on some type of Slack competitor.